Surprise! Sea lion gives birth in front of New York Aquarium visitors

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Thursday, June 17, 2021
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The California sea lion pup, which has yet to receive its name, is now healthy and bonding with its mom.

CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Some very lucky visitors to the New York Aquarium were treated to a surprise over Memorial Day weekend -- a sea lion gave birth in full view of the crowd.

The California sea lion pup, which has yet to receive its name, is now healthy and doing great.

The youngster is the first pup born to mother Ariana. Officials say she is attentive and protective of her baby and proving to be a great mom.

As the two bond and the pup matures, the ability for guests to view the pair may be temporarily limited. Keepers have not yet been able to determine the pup's gender.

"It is unusual for visitors to have the opportunity to witness the birth of an animal at the aquarium," said Craig Piper, interim New York Aquarium Director and WCS Director of City Zoos. "Aquarium staff were on hand to answer questions from the guests, and our keepers and veterinarians continue to closely monitor the pup's development. This is a special birth that has been a wonderful experience for everyone."

California sea lions are the only species that are exhibited in all five WCS parks in New York City - the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and New York Aquarium.

This pup is the fifth to be born at the aquarium since the first in 2010.

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